Trump blesses a controversial push to teach Bible literacy in public schools

Junie Sihlangu
Jan 29, 2019
06:45 P.M.
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On Monday, “Fox & Friends” interviewed North Dakota Rep. Aaron McWilliams (R). He’s one of the co-sponsors for a bill that would allow Bible classes in public schools in his state.

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A few minutes after the episode aired, President Donald Trump tweeted his support for the controversial legislation. Critics have deemed the bill as “unconstitutional.”

President Donald Trump’s tweet read:

“Numerous states introducing Bible Literacy classes, giving students the option of studying the Bible. Starting to make a turn back? Great!”

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On “Fox & Friends” North Dakota Rep. Aaron McWilliams spoke about the bill saying, “There’s a separation of church and state, but there’s not a separation of books from education.”

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He added that unless schools allowed classes about religious texts, the state would end up “establishing a religion of secularism within our school by not having anything else.” McWilliams believed that the classes would educate students about important historical texts.

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However, civil groups like the ACLU have argued that the bill would encroach upon the separation of church and state. Trump commenting on the proposed act was strange as he’s never spoken about it before and nor has he included prayer as part of his agenda.

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The legislation is the product of “an initiative called Project Blitz coordinated by conservative Christian political groups.” Last year, such bills were introduced in North Dakota, Missouri, Indiana, West Virginia, Virginia, and Florida.

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In a statement, Rachel Laser, CEO of Americans United for Separation of Church and States, said:

"State legislators should not be fooled that these bills are anything more than part of a scheme to impose Christian beliefs on public schoolchildren."

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In 2017, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin signed into law a bill that allowed public schools to add Bible literacy classes. However, when Alabama, Iowa, and West Virginia proposed a similar bill they failed.

In a bizarre incident that occurred two weeks before Christmas, an Oklahoma family lost their truck to a fire but their Bible was left untouched. Steven Gaut’s Bible from when he was 13 was left in good shape.

They would’ve lost their house, which was just feet from the flames, too if the vehicle's horn didn’t honk.

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